January 2, 2014
The Grateful Dead et al., in a million and one incarnations, are of course famous for coming up with a million ways to play the same song. Sometimes better, sometimes horrid, but always a surprise. This at a time when recording studio executives, and audiences, alike were demanding that the studio version and the live version of a song be identical, note for note. The Dead broke the mold, and opened the door for the jam bands that abound now, and the music scene has never been the same. In a strange retro re-visitation of 30 years beforehand there are parts of this show though, ( St. Stephen and The Eleven,) that sound note for note like the versions off the vinyl recording Live Dead. A nice tribute.
Phil's vocals on Unbroken Chain are as strong as I think I've ever heard...very nice too, as there are so many versions of Unbroken Chain that would be just phenomenal if the weak vocals did not drag them down.
I think this show could grow on you, maybe not just like slaps you, but just sorta hangs on there in one's mind.....On second thought Chalkdust Torture does snap the chain and come's straight at you.
In the end, I guess my analysis would be; If you have been hanging out on the bus for 40 or 50 years stream the show, turn on repeat, and let it go for a day or two. If on the other hand you were born after 1980 and suffer from ADHD, ( Hint....Everyone born after 1980 suffers from ADHD,) Skip the beginning of the show, start at St. Stephen, and turn volume up to home-wreaking levels...Enjoy!!!